It’s been almost a week since Houston GM Daryl Morey’s twitter comments supporting Hong Kong’s independence. Needless to say, China was unamused with the comments. The communist country has since prohibited NBA games from airing on television, and even went as far as banning press conferences related to Thursday morning’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. There was a lot of speculation the game might be cancelled. However, both teams took the court and there was plenty of news outside of the game’s political realm to make headlines and keep fans entertained.
During warmups, newly-acquired center Dwight Howard went up for an alley-oop dunk after throwing a ball off the backboard. In the end, the big man got “Shanghaied” as he received alot of laughs when his breakaway pants ripped off. Video has begun circulating on social media, and was first reported by ESPN.
The Nets have to be concerned with point guard Kyrie Irving’s facial fracture that was suffered a few weeks ago during a team scrimmage. The newly-acquired free agent left the preseason tilt after only one minute of play. Kyrie re-aggravated the facial fracture when he appeared to be hit in the face by Lakers pointman Rajon Rondo along the sideline while being guarded. The All-Star immediately winced as if he were in pain, removed his mask and exited the floor. He did not return.
Brooklyn defeated Los Angeles by a score of 114-111. The Nets were lead by sixth-man Spencer Dinwiddie, who managed to lead the team with 20 points and seven assists in 25 minutes of action. The Nets’ reserves proved to be the difference, outscoring Los Angeles’ bench 81-41. Meanwhile, Lakers “icon” and forward LeBron James paced his team with 20 points, yet wasn’t the only Lakers’ starter making an impact. Center Anthony Davis added 16 points, and Ronda chipped in 18 to go along with six assists and five rebonds.
NBA commissioner David Silver and players from both teams were not allowed to speak with the media. The league continues to deal with the fallout from Morey’s tweet, and it’s possible the NBA may lose its foothold in China. The financial fallout would be a big setback for the league, as China is one of their largest foreign-markets. The two teams will travel to Shenzhen to play again Saturday.
Header Photo Credit: New York Post